Climate Advisers is a Washington-based think tank. As an anonymous Guest Post on REDD-Monitor revealed last week, it’s the think tank behind the New York Declaration on forests, set to be launched at the UN Climate Summit in New York next week.
Last week, José Ilanga the Director General in charge of forests at the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development in the Democratic Republic of Congo, announced that plans were underway to lift the country’s 16-year-old moratorium on new logging concessions. Today, more than 50 environmental and human rights organisations have written to key donor governments and agencies, including Norway, UK, France, USA, and the World Bank, calling on them to suspend funding immediately to the DRC government for forestry and forest conservation.
REDD did not appear from nowhere. Behind the idea are people and institutions who have promoted REDD in different ways over the past decades. Understanding REDD means understanding the players involved and their motivations for promoting a scheme to generate carbon credits from tropical forests instead of finding ways to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
In September 2015, a meeting took place in New York between Per Pharo and Marte Sendstad of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative, and Nigel Purvis from the Washington DC-based consulting firm, Climate Advisers.
The New York Declaration on Forests was funded by Norway. It was part of a contract between Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative and the Meridian Institute, a US-based consulting firm.
By signing the New York Declaration on Forests, which was announced this week during the UN Climate Summit, governments, companies, civil society and indigenous organisations have endorsed “a global timeline to cut natural forest loss in half by 2020, and [will] strive to end it by 2030”.
Last week, the New York Times published an article that argues that, “The science says that spending precious dollars for climate change mitigation on forestry is high-risk”. It is written by Nadine Unger, an assistant professor of atmospheric chemistry at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University.